2020 is being 2020 again. But this time it’s a good thing! The Disney Parks Moms Panel is now rebranded to planDisney. Which makes a whole lot of sense in this day and age. One note: the Disney Parks Moms Panel Application/planDisney application will not be open for a 2020 search this year. What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel and why is this a big deal? If you are the expert in Disney-ness for your friends and family, then you might want to consider applying in the future. Here’s what you need to know about the Disney Moms Panel application process.
What is planDisney (aka The Disney Parks Moms Panel)?
It’s an online community of moms, dads, grandparents (and at least one aunt) who answer questions about planning Disney Parks vacations.
They are real people, just like you and me, with a healthy dose of Disney love and knowledge.
I’m not going to blow it all over your computer screen: this application process is not for the weak of heart. Especially if you want it REALLY REALLY BAD.
It can be torture wrapped up in Disney magic.
How do I know? I’ve been there and done that.
Seven times. With many hours spent obsessing over this process.
Way too many. Like, an embarrassing amount of time spent on this. I’m just being honest here; I really wanted this job (but the Mouse had other plans for me!)
Here’s the candid scoop on applying for the planDisney panel or as it was formerly known as the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
The Disney Parks Moms Panel Application Process Begins
This would be the 14th year of the Disney Moms Panel, and if you were planning to be part of the planning magic, listen up!
Applications for the 2020 Moms Panel (planDisney Panel) search have been put on hiatus.
Read this post from the Disney Parks Moms Panel:
Each year, we search for new, enthusiastic and knowledgeable Guests to join this group of vacation planning pros. Since 2020 is unlike any year we’ve ever experienced, we are extending some of our current panelists for another year to provide stability to the program in an unstable time. As a result, we will not be seeking new panelists this fall.
We know this will be disappointing if you were planning to submit an application this year, but we are looking forward to receiving your application in the future. Until then, our current Disney Parks Moms Panelists are here and are as eager to answer your questions about your next Disney vacation as we know many of you are about returning to the magic with your family, friends and loved ones.
What Happens During a Disney Parks Moms Panel Search?
On the day the application opens (typically in early September, but not happening in 2020 as noted above), you’ll log into your Disney account (or to create one if you don’t have one) and start your application.
The application is usually open for about a week to 10 days, and in my case, it took me all of those days to complete.
Is the Moms Panel Application Long?
Is it that detailed? That intense?
Nope. I just made it that way. I wanted it to be practically perfect in every way!
It was fun- but I honestly invested way too much of my life into this process.
Let me be clear: I’m not trying to dissuade you from applying.
If you have a love of Disney planning, apply- by all means! You can’t win the race unless you toe the line.
But don’t be me.
Don’t let it take over your life, friends.
Because when it comes to talking Disney (and I know I’m preaching to the choir!) it’s easy to do.
The Disney Parks Moms Panel Application Questions
- Are they looking for someone who’s been to the parks a zillion time?
- Are they looking for someone with specific experiences or skills?
- Are they looking for your expertise in time management with kids and Grands in tow?
- Do they want proof that you know the difference between a churro and a dole whip, and where you can buy both?
But Disney doesn’t come right out and say that.
They ask innocent questions like “tell us about your most memorable experience at Walt Disney World”… in 200 words or less.
200 words, are they serious? Yep, they are. As serious as midnight is to Cinderella.
Somewhere in the answer to that question & others like it the folks on the selection committee will find all they need to know.
Disney Parks Moms Panel Application: No, REALLY, What Are They Looking For?
They are looking for correct grammar, punctuation, and an excellent grasp of Disney nomenclature.
Well, duh. I mean, you’d expect that, right? The job is all about communication, so those are pretty important issues to consider.
But what are they REALLY looking for?
No one knows.
And Disney sure isn’t telling us. I think that’s my biggest complaint about the process.
Look, it’s magic and pixie dust and all that… sure.
But bottom line: it’s a job, and most jobs I’ve applied to give a basic idea of what they are looking for.
This one doesn’t give you much to go on.
You could be the perfect fit for what they need or a complete miss, but since we just don’t know… well, we don’t know.
There’s also no feedback on why you move on to the next round, or why you do not. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of applications makes it impossible for the selection team to provide that feedback.
You just have to put your faith & trust in pixie dust and hope for the best.
The Disney Parks Moms Panel Competition
There’s a lot of it.
Back to what Disney won’t tell us: the actual numbers involved.
You may wonder how many applicants apply. I’ve heard hard numbers given between 10,000 and 20,000 over the years. I’ve heard rumors of less than that; I’ve heard rumors of more than that.
That’s a lot of people applying for… wait, how many openings are there again?
Um… yeah… we don’t even know how many spots are open each year. There have been years when the panel selected 22, and there have been years where only ten lucky folks made the panel.
You won’t know how many spots are available until the panel is chosen.
How Much Time Does the Disney Parks Moms Panel Application Process Take?
Jiminy Cricket, y’all, this is a long process.
And the exact dates are rarely given out as far as notification timelines go.
You might wait a couple of weeks or even a month before you hear if you are moving on to the next round.
You can make yourself crazy with the waiting. Ask me how I know…
Disney Parks Moms Panel Application Pay and Benefits
It’s a job. Are you picking up what I’m throwing down here?
I know I’m repeating myself, but that’s the main thing you should acknowledge before you apply.
Is there a Mom’s Panel salary?
You can read more about the Disney Parks Moms Panel benefits from this Moms Panel Alumni.
You’ll work your booty off for Disney and spend hours online answering questions for guests.
You get to talk Disney and research random questions like where to find baked potatoes on property. Spoiler: not in the parks at this time. BOO!
Most of this work will be for the love of Disney as it is officially an unpaid position. But not without perks and benefits!
There is a reward trip and the possibility of other fun things throughout the time you serve.
The perks can be pretty sweet, but Disney won’t be asking for your direct deposit information for a bi-weekly deposit is what I’m saying here.
If you’re looking for a Moms Panel salary, there isn’t one. This isn’t that kind of job.
Check out the Disney Parks Moms Panel Application FAQs here.
Why Be a Moms Panelist?
I don’t know a single Moms Panelist who says they regret the time they spent answering questions for Disney. Not a one.
Most feel the experience is well worth the lack of pay.
They are officially part of the Disney family. They get to peek behind the curtain and see how the magic happens. Their job is to talk Disney and to give guests the most accurate information they can.
But even more important:
They find their tribe in their class of Moms Panelists.
Many become lifelong friends who then become family; who take vacations together, who support each other when times are tough, who grieve and cheer each other throughout life. Every class seems to have the same bonding experience.
That’s a super awesome reason to apply if you ask me.
Can you put a price on that? Nope. You really can’t.
Why I’m Not Applying to the Disney Moms Panel
I’m ineligible! How’s that for a good reason not to apply? Ha!
A few years ago, I became a travel agent which takes me out of the running.
I’m way ok with this turn of events: I’m still helping guests, and I’m having the best time doing it!
Guys- clients, friends- thank you so much for letting me do this for you. It’s been a pleasure!
There are stories of people who applied every year and FINALLY make the panel. I don’t want to be a dream crusher, so I think it’s only fair to share that it *can* happen.
It’s just not going to be my story is all.
I didn’t lose, however. I won BIG when it came to my time as a Moms Panel Hopeful.
What I took from my seven years of applying is bigger than any reward trip I could imagine: I found my ‘Ohana.
Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a panelist, but without the process, I wouldn’t have become as close to some of my most cherished friends.
They are smart, hilarious, and good.
And I’m honored that I get to be part of their world- even if I’m not part of THAT world.
If you’re applying in the next round, GOOD LUCK! I’m sending you all my pixie dust!
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Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)